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CDC Conditional Sailing Order


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Or at least refrain from posting the same negativity on multiple threads. 😉

Where do I sign up to be a test cruiser?  I can be at Port Everglades in 20 minutes

It sounds like the CDC actually listened to the comments submitted by the public While CDC bases its public health determinations on the best available science and not on public opinion

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Still have my fingers crossed for my 12/17 cruise out of Tampa (Brilliance of the Seas) - RCL still has it for sale on their site.  

The 60 day timeline to submit plans and get approval I guess could cause some confusion among folks not working for the cruise lines.  For all we know they may have been working behind the scenes this whole time and have already done everything and requested necessary approvals to sail. 

Here is to hoping for the best!     

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No cruise line knows how quickly the CDC will do their part to grant approvals at milestones.  Cruise lines won't want to cancel future cruises prematurely and have to issue refunds and more FCC however it is certain that some additional cancellations are coming. 

Government is rarely known for being efficient and timely.  We all hope for the best but prepare for the worst.  

Cruise lines don't have all the answers.  They are hoping like we are but they don't know when the first passenger cruise will sail anymore than we do.  

The restart will start slow and small but it is on the horizon for the coming months. 

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Not to be argumentative but, since we're speculating, I think RCL and Celebrity know with some level of certainty which cruises will sail and on what dates those sailings will occur.

I can speak with some level of knowledge about Celebrity (1) becasue I'm interested in how a cruise gets planned and stocked for a voyage and (2) I've asked crew and Celebrity staff in the know about such things out of pure curiosity. The line is obsessive about planning, profitability of a cruise given load factors, logistics, port call arrangements and more. Of course there's some uncertainty but I would assume they have a gated plan for each cruise with a threshold of events checked. If the gate isn't made (i.e., not enough tasks checked off) it's going to get cancelled. As each cruise passes through a gate, it will move closer to actually sailing.

I also tend to think that selected individuals within RCG, sometime in October after the Pence intervention, knew that the no-sail-order was going to be lifted on 10/30, knew they could start non-rev proof of concept sailings in November and revenue sailings in December. Therefore plans were submitted to the CDC to affect these practice cruises under the cover of the CDC's guidance for crew only manned cruise ships (The Red, Yellow and Green thing).

I'm going to make a WAG ....... the first revenue cruise will start on or about the second week of December. Never mind that I might be influenced in this WAG by my booking on Celebrity Millennium out of Miami, 5N sailing on 12/28.  

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1 hour ago, JeffB said:

Not to be argumentative but, since we're speculating, I think RCL and Celebrity know with some level of certainty which cruises will sail and on what dates those sailings will occur.

I can speak with some level of knowledge about Celebrity (1) becasue I'm interested in how a cruise gets planned and stocked for a voyage and (2) I've asked crew and Celebrity staff in the know about such things out of pure curiosity. The line is obsessive about planning, profitability of a cruise given load factors, logistics, port call arrangements and more. Of course there's some uncertainty but I would assume they have a gated plan for each cruise with a threshold of events checked. If the gate isn't made (i.e., not enough tasks checked off) it's going to get cancelled. As each cruise passes through a gate, it will move closer to actually sailing.

I also tend to think that selected individuals within RCG, sometime in October after the Pence intervention, knew that the no-sail-order was going to be lifted on 10/30, knew they could start non-rev proof of concept sailings in November and revenue sailings in December. Therefore plans were submitted to the CDC to affect these practice cruises under the cover of the CDC's guidance for crew only manned cruise ships (The Red, Yellow and Green thing).

I'm going to make a WAG ....... the first revenue cruise will start on or about the second week of December. Never mind that I might be influenced in this WAG by my booking on Celebrity Millennium out of Miami, 5N sailing on 12/28.  

Like your train of thought.  Just to swerve into your second paragraph - I was in a conversation with a Celebrity Beverage director and asked if RCL and Celebrity had a common supply chain for provisioning.   I was very surprised when he said no -they had their own logistic supply chains. I find that hard to believe from a cost savings (efficiency) perspective. Do you have any insight into supply chain commonality between the family members?

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10 hours ago, cruisellama said:

Do you have any insight into supply chain commonality between the family members?

Not anything solid. I'm not telling you anything you probably don't know but hotels, airlines and cruise lines have developed sophisticated ways of optimizing profitability and logistics is key with the cruise lines having very large and complex logistics chains. I believe that high levels of efficiency in this aspect of the cruise line business, next to human resources, is hugely important. Making the logistics chain work efficiently and at the lowest costs is a focus for them. 

That's why I posted my comment about Celebrity's obsession with planning. How the cruise lines in general relaunch revenue operations is going to be key to profitability going forward. Screw this up, have it be less efficient and more costly than is absolutely necessary, will create drag on profits ...... that is not what these companies need after 9 months of bottom line disaster.

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On 10/30/2020 at 3:08 PM, nate91 said:

I agree. As much as we'd love to see the testing schedule and know every little detail, those may not be released. All we're likely to see is which cruises they plan to sail, at least in early December. They seem to be trying to cancel cruises about a month out, so I'm guessing the next week will let us know which ships they are likely to start with.

I do however, think that they *could* be ready for paying customers on December 1st (staying optimistic). They have a lot of these requirements laid out already with the Healthy Sail Panel, and I assume that they are ready to go at implementing these. Due to having multiple ships, they could do something like:

First week of November: Gather crew, prepare plans, do testing and quarantining that hasn't already been completed as well as training.

Second week of November: Run "test cruises" that don't leave the port with crew members as staff and as guests. This could be a 3/4 night in Miami and a 7 night in FLL. 

Third week of November: Have same two ships do another test cruise, but leave the dock, visit Cococay and follow all requirements.

Fourth week of November: Repeat of third week, ensure all protocols are working, tweak plans if necessary, cancel more cruises or add more cruises depending on demand and CDC.

First week of December: Cruises start.

 

Obviously just an idea. But I could see it working.

In theory the above makes sense...My biggest question for Royal and other cruise lines is how do they procure and execute all the PCR tests needed to comply with the order?

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8 minutes ago, JB1082 said:

In theory the above makes sense...My biggest question for Royal and other cruise lines is how do they procure and execute all the PCR tests needed to comply with the order?

How else you ask?? They will most likely pass along the cost to their loyal cruisers and stock pile all the test/medical equipment they need to battle this awful virus.

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3 minutes ago, princevaliantus said:

How else you ask?? They will most likely pass along the cost to their loyal cruisers and stock pile all the test/medical equipment they need to battle this awful virus.

The costs I get - I'm more wondering how do they actually do it - like is CVS going to pop-up at the Pier?

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4 minutes ago, JB1082 said:

The costs I get - I'm more wondering how do they actually do it - like is CVS going to pop-up at the Pier?

It will be done sometime during the check-in process inside the terminal. This is something and/or the logistics that all cruise lines need to work on and accommodate an area inside the terminal for these test and pending results as no boarding will be done until the individual passenger and/or all passengers in a given family or group come back with negative results. Then, and only then, can you/they board.

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On 10/31/2020 at 12:25 PM, jticarruthers said:

4 hours for me but i can go on 5 minutes notice 🙂

Expanding on this, I just let my boss know i am taking the rest of the year as PTO "just in case" ... I will begrudgingly report to work on days when I don't get called in to volunteer as an unpaid intern on a cruise though.

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2 hours ago, JeffB said:

Not anything solid. I'm not telling you anything you probably don't know but hotels, airlines and cruise lines have developed sophisticated ways of optimizing profitability and logistics is key with the cruise lines having very large and complex logistics chains. I believe that high levels of efficiency in this aspect of the cruise line business, next to human resources, is hugely important. Making the logistics chain work efficiently and at the lowest costs is a focus for them. 

That's why I posted my comment about Celebrity's obsession with planning. How the cruise lines in general relaunch revenue operations is going to be key to profitability going forward. Screw this up, have it be less efficient and more costly than is absolutely necessary, will create drag on profits ...... that is not what these companies need after 9 months of bottom line disaster.

With the depression in fuel cost due to lockdowns, there's some opportunity to pick up some margin in fuel cost if they can only get back to cruising.  

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I read the order (I am not lawyer), but it looks like cruise lines need to 1st meet all of the CDCs requirements in the order then 2nd, apply to the CDC a request (30 days prior) to conduct a simulated voyage (page 27, footnote 17) and then after those sailing(s), 3rd apply to the CDC a request (60 days prior) to begin conditional sailings (page 28, footnote 18).  I think that the application for conditional sailings has to be after the simulated sailings occur because page 29, part 8, says that the cruise lines need to certify that they are in compliance with all of the other requirements in the framework (which I believe, includes having simulated cruises). If that is the case, I unfortunately, don't see how sailings will begin until February or March at the earliest.  Hopefully Royal will announce something as I can't wait to get back on the open seas!!!

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51 minutes ago, jaullram said:

I read the order (I am not lawyer), but it looks like cruise lines need to 1st meet all of the CDCs requirements in the order then 2nd, apply to the CDC a request (30 days prior) to conduct a simulated voyage (page 27, footnote 17) and then after those sailing(s), 3rd apply to the CDC a request (60 days prior) to begin conditional sailings (page 28, footnote 18).  I think that the application for conditional sailings has to be after the simulated sailings occur because page 29, part 8, says that the cruise lines need to certify that they are in compliance with all of the other requirements in the framework (which I believe, includes having simulated cruises). If that is the case, I unfortunately, don't see how sailings will begin until February or March at the earliest.  Hopefully Royal will announce something as I can't wait to get back on the open seas!!!

Words in the order have meaning without question.  In places it seems there is suggestion that 60 days is ideal but not an absolute hard number unless a ship has been outside of U.S. water and comes to the U.S. from somewhere else.

The bottom line is that we can all over-analyze the placement and use of words in the order but at the end of the day there are milestones to complete that will progress as the CDC sees fit.  No one including any cruise line can predict how the CDC will respond as milestones are reached.  

One cruise line or ship may get there is X days, another cruise line or ship may get there in Y days.

Only time will tell and that may frustrate some people when cruise lines don't cancel cruises to their liking.

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@cruisellama, I can believe that RCL and X have separate suppliers for their logistics operations simply due to the differences in what each line will be ordering, both in terms of quality and specific choices.

Look at the bars, for example. X is known for having a surprisingly good set of craft beer options, a wine selection that actually gets split into "regular" and "premium" tiers for their drink packages (along with those beers), and things like a huge selection of scotch whiskeys and other premium liquors. Royal, not so much; bulk domestic beer with a couple of bulk imports, some well-known relatively bulk wines along with a modest selection of mid-tier options, and "well" spirits with the common brands available.

The dining on X is known for being as good in the MDR as any specialty venue on Royal, and specialty venues a cut above that; whereas Royal's MDR is more at the level of "fair to middling" and the specialty places are akin to higher-end chain venues on land (with CK being the notable exception in my experience; I'm guessing they approach X's MDR). That'll partly be due to differences in the chefs employed, their skills levels, etc. But also in large part to freshness of ingredients, use of higher-quality cuts of meat, fresh-caught fish vs. farmed, and so on.

Different suppliers can meet the needs of one better than the other. So X will use suppliers known for reliably high quality and premium selection, while Royal goes with the more typical bulk supplier. Maybe not so much with things like romaine lettuce, butter, or eggs; unless X is doing things like buying certified organic while Royal doesn't. But for those other aspects it's totally believable.

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